April 19, 2015: Third Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
“The sacredness and dignity of human life exists not in isolation, but affirmed through individuals growing in community and seeking together the well being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.” Read more at: https://cst74life.wordpress.com/
First Reading: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Psalm: 4:2, 4, 7-8,9
Second Reading: 1st John 2:1-5a
Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
Catechism of the Catholic Church
He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms him by giving him the ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him capable of acting rightly and doing good. In union with his Savior, the disciple attains the perfection of charity which is holiness. Having matured in grace, the moral life blossoms into eternal life in the glory of heaven. (1709) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Third Sunday of Easter, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf.Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person but also the social relations existing between men. As the Apostle Paul teaches, life in Christ makes the human person’s identity and social sense — with their concrete consequences on the historical and social planes — emerge fully and in a new manner: “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Gal 3:26-28). In this perspective, Church communities, brought together by the message of Jesus Christ and gathered in the Holy Spirit round the Risen Lord (cf. Mt 18:20, 28:19-20; Lk 24:46-49), offer themselves as places of communion, witness and mission, and as catalysts for the redemption and transformation of social relationships. (52)
The author of life was put to death by those who handed Him over to crucifixion, even when they had the opportunity to not deny His identity. An action of ignorance, but the truth would be revealed. How significantly does ignorance contribute to strife in our world today? A limited awareness to understand social and economic complexities hinder dialogue, leading to distancing of people that should be interacting. The abyss of unknowing can shrink so acuity sharpens to define challenges. Solutions come into a clear perspective as ignorance crumbles when mirrors of illusions shatter under the weight of education that does not paint mirages, but informs of the reality. But are people afraid of education—not just book knowledge, but an education of the senses to see the dynamics of struggles first hand. Eyes open for a compassionate response, not a fleeting glance searching for paths of comfort. Ears attentive to deep yearnings in lives that maybe invisible. Education can also dispel fear rooted in ignorance, to cease brandishing stereotypes as weapons of hate. Ignorance leaves someone snoozing in a hammock, suspended in thin air, day dreaming, but education engages heartfelt solutions. Where the quest for peace does not startle or terrify us of embracing enemies fostered in indifference. Ignorance of earthly realities separates us ultimately from the Divine reality. For not looking at the hands and feet, touching those distanced from us by ignorance, that encounter of humanity, we fail to move beyond a superficial faith to grasp that the words of the prophets and psalms have been fulfilled. To come to an understanding of the Scriptures, beyond book knowledge, where one comes to an education of the heart. For when we truly believe our sins are forgiven and live in that freedom, we attentively preach in deed and witness by our lives what we have had made known to us in the breaking of the bread.
Individual Reflection: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19
How might you become involved in your diocese’s restorative justice program to offer hope and healing to those handed over to incarceration? What are their needs for education, counseling, job skills and spiritual enrichment where you might share your gifts?
Family Reflection: Psalm 4:2, 4,7-8, 9
How might your family support shelters that give those without a home a peaceful place to sleep?
Reflect on the words of the song Open My Eyes Lord
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born, April 11, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.